2012 Seattle Mariners Draft: Quick Last-Minute Prep

Matt Bush and a baseball

At present, the Seattle Mariners are tied for the fourth-worst record in baseball. It might not feel that way, but it's true, unless the entire Internet is playing some weird and specific practical joke. They're tied with the Oakland Athletics, which isn't surprising, and they're tied with the Houston Astros, which is both surprising and embarrassing given our preseason expectations for the Astros. That team was supposed to be legendarily bad. They might still get there, but right now they have as good a record as the Mariners. There are several reasons why I'm not currently wearing a Mariners jersey.

A year ago, the Seattle Mariners finished with the third-worst record in baseball. Remember that? Remember how they were 67-95? The penalty for that was having to go six months as the third-worst team in baseball. The reward for that is that, this afternoon, the Mariners will pick third overall in the first round of the 2012 amateur draft. Now the memories of the 2011 season are mostly forgotten; now, if anything, we can be thankful that last season was as dismal as it was. Thank you, 2011, for providing such a high draft pick!

This is the first of three draft days. Today will include the first round and the first compensation round, stretching a total of 60 picks. This afternoon or evening, the names of several future disappointments will be announced. Zero or one or two or three of the players will develop fully. Many more will develop partially, and the rest will develop not at all. It sounds so grim and makes it all seem like a complete waste of time, but the math isn't really different in other professional fields. Most of us are destined to disappoint. High baseball draft picks just get more publicity than most of us do.

So, some stuff:

When
The first round begins Monday at 4pm Pacific

When
The Mariners pick third overall, around 4:15-4:25ish

When else
The Mariners will not make another selection today. They own pick #64 tomorrow. And others!

Where
In a room, with coverage available on MLB Network and MLB.com.

Rumors?
The Astros are supposedly hot after Mark Appel as the first overall pick. Then the Mariners just have to wait on the Twins. The thing about the Mariners is that nobody in the industry knows what they're going to do. As a consequence, that means we don't know what they're going to do, as evidenced by the Danny Hultzen selection a year ago. However, other teams aren't quite so secretive. The Astros, for example, have made their interest in Appel known. The Twins seem fond of Byron Buxton.

Here is a list of potential Mariner selections, published by Matthew the other day. Various mock drafts link the Mariners to catcher Mike Zunino, but I don't really understand mock drafts unless they're just vehicles for delivering player scouting reports in an organized fashion. Mock drafts consistently and predictably end up way off from reality. The Mariners could very well select Zunino, or they could very well select someone else. They could conceivably select you. Unless there are rules in place preventing that, which there probably are. So perhaps the Mariners could not conceivably select you, assuming you aren't a draft-eligible amateur. I apologize for bursting your bubble.

Tom McNamara suggests that there are five top guys. So it seems like the Mariners aren't going to go way off the board. The talk surrounding this draft is that it's light, a lot lighter than recent drafts, but there's still impact talent to be found and something tells me that in the long run, this draft will work out just fine overall. If Appel and Buxton go one and two, the Mariners could end up with Zunino, shortstop Carlos Correa, pitcher Kevin Gausman, pitcher Max Fried, or another player. I think most people are hoping that Buxton drops and if he's selected by the Twins he'll just end up with some weird neurological problem anyway. The best shot at a Lookout Landing meltdown would be the Mariners passing over an available Buxton. The next-best shot would be the Mariners picking another pitcher. It wouldn't be entirely rational, but few things about the MLB draft are rational.

Today the Mariners will select a talented young baseball player. Within the following weeks, the Mariners will presumably sign that talented young baseball player. After that, the talented young baseball player will presumably report to the minors, or at least Arizona. Then the talented young baseball player will begin a treacherous hike to the Major Leagues, relying on a compass and steady footing on unsteady ground. The player could, in time, arrive at the destination, or he could end up lost and dead in the wilderness. Stay reasonable, because no matter what the Mariners do today, it's not like they'll be signing Miguel Olivo to a five-year extension, unless they sign Miguel Olivo to a five-year extension.

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